From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Molecular and Cell Biology (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Molecular and Cell Biology. To participate, visit the WikiProject for more information.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Merge with Transformation?[edit]

This article states that transfection differs from transformation in that no integration takes place. I was told that "transfection" was coined because the term "transformation" was coined with two independent meanings at about the same time (the other being the origin of a cancerous cell line), and that "transfection" generally took over in those in eukaryotic fields, esp. medical and animal related, while transformation stuck in the prokaryotic field. The person who told me this has, of course, talked complete nonsense plenty of times before, but can anybody clear it up? Joe D (t) 16:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes you are right, this is rubbish. I'm not sure of the history your friend talks about, but these days transfection generally means eukaryotic (or at least mammalian) cells and transformation means bacteria. It has nothing to do with transient or stable uptake of nucleic acids (in fact the article contradicts itself later when it talks about transient and stable transfection)Mammal4 13:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I have suggested merging these, something which I think I'm in favour of, though I'm open to persuasion otherwise. It appears the major difference between the two is the name, while the actual protocols and purpose differ only in the details. It would certainly make sense to have a proper explanation of the history and terminology in one place. Joe D (t) 21:47, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

You guys are all right, in a way. Transfection and Transformation in the sense of introducing DNA into host cells is the same thing. It was first done with bacteria and they called it transformation. When this was then acchieved in eukaryotes as well, they had to call it something different, because the term Transformation was already used with the meaning "cancerous". However, now that this is clear, the term transformation has also been used to described stably transfected mammalian cells. And the justification for that is fairly simple: The reason for a cancerous cell to be cancerous, is it's altered genetic background (a mutation). Well, if we call cells with an altered genetic content transformed, then it makes sense to also use this term to describe mammalian cells that we altered willingly. This should clearify things. However, the reason why I initally came to the discussion page is that I don't think it was first done in 1977 but in 1973 by van der Eb but I can't find the reference for that right now. Does anybody know? Matthias, guest (my first Wikipedia entry ever!) 13:36, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd be against this merge - While transfection is always induced, transformation happens spontaneously in some prokaryotes. Also, I believe some of the techniques used differ? I think it would bepotentially confusing to merge these articles together - a link at the top is sufficient. strych 11:36, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

My lab manual defines transfection as being strictly for eukaryotes while transformation refers to prokaryotes. The source was a technical appendix from the Promega corporation. Both of these pages could use some cleaning up but I think the definitions should remain separate. Mark Gobbin 13:58, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Transformation also applies to eukaryotes. For example, the same plasmid can be used both to transfect insect cells and to transform insects. The procedures and goals are fairly different, though. You can generalize that "transformation" leads to a heritable change in an intact organism, and "transfection" is the act of introducing DNA (or RNA) into cells, in vivo or in culture, leading to (initially at least) a transient change. These definitions are operational and do not really account for the long term fate of the DNA. Ultimately the topics are different enough to merit their own pages. In fact, these might be good places to compile and comment on specific protocols for each. Gmdelyk 19:09, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

The initial comment was right. See for example Annu Rev Microbiol. 1966;20:371-400. I've edited the article to clarify this. I'm going to also do some work on the transformation/competence/competent cells pages, merging the 'competent cells ' page into the 'competence (biology) one, which I have just expanded and clarified (I think I may be the Wikipedia expert on this stuff). The transfection and transformation pages should not be merged. Let's keep the 'transfection' page for eukaryote stuff, the 'competence (biology) one for bacterial competence (= all about DNA uptake, and the transformation (genetic) one as an article about transformation (the genetic consequences of DNA uptake), with pointers to 'transfection' and 'competence (biology)'. Rosieredfield 00:22, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

According to Flint, Endquist, Racaniello, and Salka, Principles of Virology Second Ed. pg. 49 "The term transfection (transformation-infection) was coined to describe the production of infectious virus after transformation of cells by viral DNA... Unfortunately, the term transfection is now routinely used to describe the introduction of any DNA or RNA into cells." It seems to me from this that the term transfection has its own seperate meaning and history and shouldn't probably be combined.

Tranfection and transformation are two separate things. So, the articles should be separate but they can be just linked.Nirajrm Δ | [sign plz] 15:38, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Microbiologists exclusively use the term transformation -- I think merging the two entries would lead to confusion, and I join the others in agreeing that they should remain separate with a link at the top. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

They are most certainly two separate things. Transformations often have the connotation of the uptake of naked DNA while transfections usually have some some sort of transporting molecule (usually a micelle). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lelio Rising (talkcontribs) 21:19, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Definitely against this merge, the term transfection is not used in plants at all. Transformation is. David D. (Talk) 04:47, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I count 7-8 opposes, and Joe seems to have originally been only weakly in favour. Solid consensus; I'll remove both tags. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 09:28, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Viral transformation?[edit]

Given that this article states the original meaning of the term "transfection" was transformation by virus, I'm suggesting a merge of these two articles. - tameeria (talk) 06:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Against - transfection now means "the introduction of foreign material into eukaryotic cells." This can be done with or without a virus, and viruses can be used to transform prokaryotic cells as well, so I think Viral transformation should talk about viral transformation in all cells, but in a more specific manor, whilst transfection should be a more general article. There's sure to be overlap, but I'm sure there's a lot to be said about viral transformation. --PhiJ (talk) 17:30, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

"transfection now means "the introduction of foreign material into eukaryotic cells." - That's true for animal cells, I'm guessing, but not necessarily all eukaryotes. I'm working on plants and the term used there is transformation. The article says "transformation" is used "occasionally" for plants, but I think "usually" would be more accurate. Viral transformation (which currently is merely an unreferenced stub) of eukaryotic cells is called transfection while viral transformation of prokaryotic cells is called transduction which has its own article already but is not even linked from the viral transformation stub. I think that stub either needs serious expansion, a merge/move, or being converted into a disambiguation page pointing to transfection and transduction. - tameeria (talk) 18:10, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, do you know if it is used in this sense for e.g. fungi? Could you possibly change that (the first sentance of the article) to more accurately represent the use of the word please? --PhiJ (talk) 11:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I've checked on Google, Google Scholar, PubMed etc and it seems overall the term "transfection" is used rarely for non-animal systems, in the case of plants maybe in 1 out of 10 cases and in the case of yeast and algae in about 1 out of 100 cases. In almost every case I find for plants and fungi where "transfection" is used, it refers to a virus vector or sometimes Agrobacterium in plants. There are of course examples for other uses, but those are rare compared to "transformation" for the same method. It appears for insect cells it's about 50/50, but I haven't looked too closely into that. There are a lot of viral transformation protocols for insect cell cultures and I'm not sure how many of those account for "transfections" versus "transformations."
On the other hand, most of the scholarly literature hits I find to viral transformation talk about oncogenesis and viruses being capable of causing cancer which is not clear from that stub at all. Looking at the edit history of that article, I'm guessing that was the meaning for which it was originally created. The sentence "Viral transformation is the transfection of DNA to a host cell." was tagged in front of it later. The article probably should be rewritten completely to make a clearer distinction between "viral transformation = transfection" and "viral transformation = virus-induced oncogenesis." - tameeria (talk) 14:33, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Addendum: There probably should be an article for transformation (cell biology) on Wikipedia to address the second meaning of that term. As it is, the article on transformation (genetics) does not even mention it, and the blurb on the dab page transformation doesn't do the topic justice at all. - tameeria (talk) 14:52, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
It appears there's a well hidden article on Malignant transformation, I've added it to the disambiguation now. So maybe all we need is a slight change to Viral transformation, so that it doesn't look like it's associated with this article? --PhiJ (talk) 14:32, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Good find! I've reorganized the viral transformation page into two separate sections for the two different meanings of the term, so I think it can stand on its own now rather than merging. Thanks! - tameeria (talk) 15:27, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Mammalian cell transfection using calcium phosphate was discovered more than a decade earlier than the article claims. Please check the original work by Szybalski & Szybalski (1962). (talk) 15:19, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

This one? SZYBALSKA EH, SZYBALSKI W (1962). "Genetics of human cess line. IV. DNA-mediated heritable transformation of a biochemical trait" (PDF). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 48: 2026–34. PMC 221117Freely accessible. PMID 13980043.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) --Kkmurray (talk) 15:58, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I have a problem with the mechanism of DNA delivery into the cells via cationic lipids. Is it really true that in this case DNA/nucleic acid is actually encaged into liposomes and enters cell when the liposomes fuse with the plasma membrane? Invitrogen website claims that even in this case the complexes enters via endocytosis...I would say endocytosis as well as fusion to plasma membrane.


Impalefection is listed twice in the list. I think it should be only in the particle-asisted list, since it uses the nanofibres. HlTo 05:56, 30 August 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Section:Stable and transient transfection[edit]

Changed "most applications of transfection" to "some" considering that all manufacturing/research stable clones originate from transfections. Added reference to episomal replication to clarify plasmid dilution. Could extend to discuss its effect on transfection efficiency if article expands into more detail.
The next paragraph may need some clarification: 1) Integration rates can be rather high 2) Not all selection agents are "toxins", as in the case of the GS-CHO cell line which can be selected simply by the absence of glutamine.
It would be nice to see the introduction expanded to describe the purpose of transfections. I have some decent public domain graphics showing steps in transient transfection protocol that would greatly help the casual/inexperienced reader. I'll add them to my page (soon) for review, feedback. Joe Jirka (talk) 02:11, 26 December 2012 (UTC)


This article could include a section on the uses and importance of transfection. Many scientists, especially those in the biopharmaceuticals industry use this method to see if cells will grow using DNA they subcloned in the lab. This method allows scientists to study and control gene expression, conduct mutational analyses, investigate the effects of gene expression on cell growth, etc. There isn't enough information on the usefulness of this method in science and medical world today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wang.3643 (talkcontribs) 19:52, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

New methods of transfection[edit]

Wondering why my input about FuGENE was deleted by Jytdog (talk). It's the method we use in our lab the most, and it doesn't fit in any other chemical category (it's not lipofection, neither DEAE or calcium phosphate), so I don't consider as spam to mention it as other method to use. Until yesterday, this system even had its own wiki article with good references (you can see it here), but today I can see someone has deleted it. It was really useful for biotechnologists like me to know the mode of operation of this technique so used, and I think it should be developed, not deleted. Right not, if you don't care and until he explain the reason for this, I will undo his "undo". To consider a method as spam only because it is done by a commercial house is unjustified; Practically every method is developed by a commercial house. --Sir Electron (talk) 22:16, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

it would be great to have content about what "fugene" actually is and it works, source to independent sources. The way it was done before was spam. The current content doesn't say what it is nor how it works. Jytdog (talk) 22:55, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with that, that was exactly the first reason for which I came Wikipedia, because I wanted to know how it works. Right now, I haven't been able to find this information anywhere; but preccisely for this I think the article was useful. Maybe incomplete, yes; but that's the way Wikipedia works, today is incomplete, tomorrow someone gets new information and add it. But if we consider spam all the incomplete information and delete it, there is no way to the whole article be completed someday. Sir Electron (talk) 08:36, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
not being able to find reliable independent sources means that it probably shouldn't be discussed in WP. People can already go to the company website and read about it there. Jytdog (talk) 12:09, 12 April 2017 (UTC)